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Marginalization and Exclusion Imperils Rights, New UN Expert Report Finds

Ageism – the stereotyping, prejudice, and/or discrimination of individuals or groups based on their age – is all around us. One just has to look at a rack of birthday cards for images ridiculing older people or the rows of “anti-ageing” creams on the…
Rohingya people refugees carry an older woman on the way to camp at Shahpori Island, in Teknaf, Bangladesh on September 13, 2017. 
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Make Safe Visits to Aged Care Homes a Reality

For the first time in 12 weeks, residents of Sydney, Australia are now allowed to gather outdoors with up to four friends who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. Since a fresh Covid-19 outbreak in late June, millions of people in Sydney have…
Summitcare aged care facility in Baulkham Hills in Sydney, Australia, July 4, 2021.
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New Video Urges Congress to Include Equitable Access in Infrastructure Bill

(Washington, DC) – The United States Congress should support programs that ensure everyone in the US has access to safe and affordable water, Human Rights Watch said in a video released today. To advance this crucial goal, the US government should…
Leaky garden tap
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Gaps in Services Create Risks for Institutionalization, Violate Rights

(Moscow) – The Russian government is not providing adequate resources for home-based services for older people, denying some of them the ability to live independent and dignified lives, Human Rights Watch said today. Despite legislative reform to…
A pensioner carries logs in the courtyard of her wooden house where she opened a private museum of the old quarter.
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Government Should Include Pregnant People in Heat Action and Climate Adaptation Plans

As the UK bakes in record-setting temperatures, its meteorological service issued its first-ever extreme heat warning this week. Public Health England extended its own heat health alert through July 23, as soaring day- and night-time temperatures…
A woman walks under a parasol to shelter from the sun in Birmingham, U.K., on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. The U.K.'s Met Office has issued its first-ever Extreme Heat weather warning, stating that continuing high temperatures will lead to public health impacts.
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Inclusive Climate Action and Planning Needed after 12 Perish

On July 15, twelve people with disabilities living in a group home drowned in floods in Sinzig, Germany, because they did not manage to evacuate in time. This is not the first time people with disabilities in group homes died during a climate…
The “Lebenshilfe-Haus” or ‘assisted-living facility”, where twelve people with disabilities drowned in floods on July 15, 2021.
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Climate Crisis Requires Inclusive Heat Action, Planning, and Response

Recent climate change-exacerbated heat waves in the western Canadian province of British Columbia have left hundreds dead. According to British Columbia’s chief coroner, of the 719 sudden deaths between June 25 and July 1, many were “older individuals…
A person enters the Hillcrest Community Centre, where they can cool off during the extreme hot weather in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 30, 2021.
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International Funding Largely Depends on Reducing Deforestation, Protecting Rights

(São Paulo) – The governors of Brazilian Amazon states should take immediate measures to deliver on their pledges to curb illegal deforestation, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The success of the governors’ efforts to secure…
Governors and vice-governors of Brazil’s Amazon states at the 17th Forum of Governors of the Legal Amazon, March 2019
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Dear Governors,                     We are writing to applaud the commitment the Governors, through the Interstate Legal Amazon Consortium, have made to fight illegal deforestation in the Amazon and to…
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Unique Opportunity for Congress to Help People Continue to Live at Home

US lawmakers should prioritize support for home and community-based services for older people as part of the negotiations on infrastructure bills under way in Congress, Human Rights Watch said today. The vast majority of older people in the United…
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Government Should Address Remaining Accountability Gaps

(Ottawa) – New climate legislation adopted by the Canadian parliament on June 29, 2021 will increase transparency and accountability for the Canadian government’s efforts to meet its climate change commitments, Human Rights Watch said today.…
The Canadian Parliament buildings are seen in Ottawa, April 27, 2020. © 2020 Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP
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Climate action plans have to include measures to redress women disproportionately affected by deforestation and plantation expansion.

On a rainy day in April 2018, I rode a small speedboat along the Kapuas River in West Kalimantan province, Indonesia, headed for three tidal swamp villages, whose residents had protested against the expansion of oil palm plantations on their farmland and…
201909WRD_Indonesia_pic
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Addressing Climate Crisis Requires Immediate Action

Yesterday more than 200 groups sent a letter to the United Nations Human Rights Council urging member states to establish a new mandate for a Special Rapporteur on human rights and climate change. Creating such a post for an independent expert would…
After years of very little rainfall, the lakebed of Suesca lagoon sits dry and cracked, in Suesca, Colombia, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.
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Concrete Plans Needed to Address Climate Crisis, Protect Rights

(London) – G7 member countries should take immediate and concrete action to end fossil fuel subsidies, Human Rights Watch said in a question-and-answer document released today. Ending these subsidies is key to countries meeting their human rights…
A Uniper coal-fired power plant and a BP refinery steam beside a wind generator in Gelsenkirchen, Germany on Jan. 16, 2020. © 2020 Martin Meissner/AP Photo
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Government financial support for fossil fuels, including through subsidies, presents a key obstacle to achieving emissions reductions urgently needed to address the climate crisis. Subsidies artificially reduce the costs of fossil fuel production and…
Pumpjacks at an oil well site near Epping, N.D., Oct. 1, 2018. © 2018 Jim Wilson/The New York Times/GDA via AP Images
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Toxic Legacy from Kabwe Mine Needs Action by Governments, Donors, Companies

This June 5 is World Environment Day, which kicks off the “United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration”. Ecosystem restoration is about preventing, halting and reversing environmental damage. It is  hugely important  globally…
Children play in a backyard
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Civil Society Participation Key to Success at UN Climate Talks

At this month’s virtual climate negotiations several United Nations officials and governments highlighted the importance of civil society participation in climate action. Yet at the summit’s plenary session, time ran out before civil society…
Residents and environmental activists on Lamu island, Kenya, protest the proposed Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project on March 1, 2012.  © 2012 Reuters/Joseph Okanga
Report
Summary Peatlands are the largest terrestrial carbon store on earth, storing more carbon than all other vegetation types in the world combined. But once peatland is destroyed it releases carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas driving climate change,…